Where to Buy Pumpkins on Whidbey

One of the very best things about autumn on Whidbey Island is being able to support all of our local farmers! Whether you’re looking for a Whidbey Island pumpkin patch recommendation or you’re new in town and want to start a tradition, you’ll find 3 excellent choices right here:

Where to buy your pumpkins on Whidbey, Whidbey island, Annie cash

The Farm Stand at K & R Farms

Located at 36699 SR 20 Oak Harbor, Washington

Every Friday and Saturday night throughout October, you can embark on The Farm Stand’s Flashlight Corn Maze. The maze is open from dark until 10pm and is free for customers with a purchase. (A limited number of flashlights are available to rent if you don’t have one.) RSVP on Facebook here so you don’t forget! You can also stop by for fresh produce and of course, make time to go for a walk in the pumpkin patch.

 

Case Farm

Located at the end of Case Road Oak Harbor, Washington

Case Farm has been around since 1898, and they have been proud farmers for 5 generations now. This year they started a farm stand at the end of the pavement on Case Road where they sell an assortment of produce. 

You can even stop by just to say hello to their animals (cows, turkeys, ducks, chickens, cats, and dogs)! Enjoy picking out a pumpkin in their field or buy some harvest decor and fresh fall produce while you’re at it. Little ones can take a turn at a toddler-friendly bale maze.

Case Farm also hosts educational visits for school and preschool groups to teach them about farming—visit their Facebook page for contact info!

 

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Sherman’s Pioneer Farm

Located at 46 S Ebey Rd Coupeville, Washington

Established all the way back in 1852, this Whidbey staple shines extra bright when October comes around. Visit Sherman’s Pioneer Farm to stock up on pumpkins, edible squash, and gourds; go for a trolly ride to the pumpkin patch; pick up fresh pies and other baked goods; visit their cows, and more. In previous years they’ve had a hay bale maze and a haunted house too—and of course, there are photo ops around every corner!

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Written by:

Annie Cash, Windermere, Real Estate, Whidbey Island, Broker

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Posted on October 5, 2020 at 6:53 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Posted in Places | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Dog Parks on Whidbey

If you have been out exploring Whidbey recently, you might have noticed an abundance of furry four-legged creatures. It’s not much of a secret that Whidbey Islanders LOVE their dogs. As self-proclaimed “outdoorsy” people say, they are the perfect pet to have with you when hiking trails, swimming at the beach, and exploring places like the abandoned military installments of Fort Casey and Fort Ebey. 

 

Although exploring all the crevices of Whidbey is amazing, dog owners know there is something special about enjoying time off-leash with their furry friends. Luckily, Whidbey has some INCREDIBLE off-leash dog parks scattered throughout the island. We have listed our favorites below! 

 

 

1.Clover Valley Off-Leash Park | 740 Ault Field Rd, Oak Harbor, WA 98277

 

Although this is one of the smaller parks on Whidbey, Clover Valley is well-loved and frequented by dog owners in Oak Harbor. The fully fenced-in park provides owners the opportunity to socialize their dog in a safe environment while they build friendships with other owners in the area.

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2. Patmore Pit | 497 Patmore Rd, Coupeville, WA 98239

 

Patmore Pit is the largest off-leash dog park on Whidbey. This fully fenced 15 acres of mixed terrain allows owners and their pups the opportunity to enjoy themselves for hours.  The park has 3 meadow areas, 2 wooded areas, an agility course, and a smaller area for more timid dogs.

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3.Greenbank Off-Leash | WA-525, Coupeville, WA 98239

 

Anyone who has ever visited Greenbank Farm knows that the surrounding area is incredibly beautiful with views of our gorgeous waters on either side and an abundance of trails. But did you know there was an off-leash area? Just north of the farm, you will notice they sectioned out parcels of land for low-impact recreation including off-leash play! It’s a wonderful place to explore if you get the chance.

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4.Double Bluff Beach Off-Leash | 6378 S Double Bluff Rd, Freeland, WA 98249

 

Have a water dog that LOVES to splash in the sea? Then you will love taking them to Double Bluff Beach. This location offers pets and owners a two-mile-long stretch of beach to play on without the nuisance of leashes to restrict your dog’s enjoyment.

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5.Marguerite Brons Memorial | 2837 Becker Rd, Clinton, WA 98236

 

This fully fenced 13- acre park offers dog owners peace of mind when allowing their dog to explore the various trails and meadows. Central gathering areas provide owners the ability to socialize with others while their dogs play.

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MAP:


Posted on September 3, 2020 at 12:02 am
Windermere Whidbey | Posted in Places, Things to do on Whidbey | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Chuckanut Drive – A Detour Worth Taking

After living in Whidbey Island for a few years I finally decided to venture out and take the cliff-hugging drive along the Chuckanut Drive, a detour worth taking.

SR11 is a 21.28 mile long highway that serves Skagit and Whatcom counties, in Washington.

I started the drive in Edison, the town of kindness, and made my first stop at the Breadfarm. If you love carbs as much as this Italian gal, you will be in love with this bakery. Founded in 2003, Breadfarm is an artisan bakery focused on the production of rustic loaves of bread and pastries, only using high quality natural and organic ingredients. I just love their olive baguettes, ham & cheese croissants, herbed focaccias, and thumbprint cookies!

Chuckanut drive, Simona Groves, Windermere Real Estate

Once leaving the town of Edison I proceeded to Chuckanut Drive to begin my scenic tour.

Here are my 5 top recommendations for the Chuckanut Drive:

  1. Rhododendron Cafe – This is a popular cafe’ and restaurant which features a monthly rotating menu’, with cuisine from different parts of the world.
  2. Bat Caves Trailhead – A famous trail also known as the Oyster Dome Trail. It is a very steep and densely wooded trail but once you get to the top you will be able to enjoy views of the San Juan Islands and Samish Bay. Fun Fact: The bat caves are home to Townsend’s big-eared bats.
  3. The Oyster Bar – You will definitely enjoy an incredible view combined with an amazing lunch. Did you know? The Oyster Bar used to be a shack where oysters were sold to passing drivers.
  4. Taylor Shellfish Samish Farm Store – At this location, they have been growing oysters on about 1,700 acres of Samish Bay tideland for about 100 years. The shop sells clams, oysters, mussels, salmon and so much more.
  5. Clayton Beach – Clayton Beach parking lot is the access point to Larrabee State Park, Washington’s first state park in 1915. Larrabee State Park has 2,700 acres with two lakes, a campground, and miles of hiking trails.

 

Chuckanut Drive, View, Trees, Ocean, Windermere, Simona Groves

 

I ended my excursion in Fairhaven, a town well known for its frequent festivals and Victorian charm. Filled with lots of artsy shops and delicious restaurants, Fairhaven is a popular tourist destination.

I particularly enjoyed the Iron Rooster Bakery with its traditional pastries, croissants, quiches, and my beloved macaroons!

 

chuckanut Drive, Places to visit, Windermere, Simona Groves

Have you taken this drive? If so, do you have any recommendations for the next time I go?

Click here https://www.scenicwa.com/chuckanut-drive for more info.

 

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Old Growth Tree Near Cranberry Lake, Deception pass, Whidbey Island, Washington

Old Growth tree Near Cranberry Lake

 

 

 


Posted on August 21, 2020 at 6:08 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Posted in Places, Written by our Agents | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Old Growth Tree

Near Cranberry Lake

What You Will Find

During a typical trip to Cranberry Lake, at Deception State Park it would not be uncommon to see kayaks floating atop the still waters, fisherman sitting along the winding edges of the lake, and kids splashing in the shallow waters while their parent’s BBQ.

Have You Seen It All?

But if that is all you have seen you have not gone far enough. Just past the lake is a trail that will lead you through a very rare treasure to this region. SAND DUNES. Dunes are created as grains of sand accumulate into a sheltered area when the wind blows. The limited nutrients, high winds, sun exposure, and salty spray from the ocean makes it extremely difficult for plants to grow here. Many of the plants you see today have adapted to the harsh growing conditions causing them to develop things like small leaves that stand perpendicular to the sun to avoid direct sunlight that assists in the plant’s survival.

The Old Growth Tree

However, despite the challenges stands this old-growth tree.  It is quite a unique Douglas-fir.

Old Growth Tree Near Cranberry Lake, Deception pass, Whidbey Island, Washington

This particular tree has stood for over 850 years watching as the dunes have taken shape. Its thick bark has guarded it against the harsh conditions in addition to storms, fires, droughts, and disease that claimed others over the years. For generations, people have climbed this stunning tree. Unfortunately, now the bark is thinning but it can still be appreciated from afar.

Take a Look at Our Interactive Map of the Area Here:

 

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Posted on August 4, 2020 at 11:13 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Posted in Places, Things to do on Whidbey | Tagged , ,

A Trip to Langley

Plan your Trip to Langley

A Little History Before You Plan Your Trip to Langley

On the southern side of Whidbey Island along the Saratoga Passage lies the lovely little town of Langley. With a population of just over one thousand, this quaint town is home to a creative culture and endless entertainment.

Langley’s history has led to its unique and diverse culture. Established in 1891, Langley served as South Whidbey’s trading center for all types of goods with the wharf connecting island merchants to Everett and Seattle. In the 60s and 70s, that same wharf brought in a wave of hippies who would forever shift the culture of South Whidbey.

Although Langley’s docks no longer see the traffic they once did, downtown is filled with remnants of the original trades-town married beautifully with the artistic culture of the mid-century hippies. It’s quite a treat to visit. If you get the chance to spend a day in Langley and aren’t sure what to do, you’re in luck! We’ve created an itinerary for the perfect one-day trip in Langley. Just don’t forget your mask and keep a social distance! 

Itinerary for Day Trip to Langley

Coffee at Useless Bay

Enjoy some amazing early morning coffee from this local roaster to give yourself an extra boost at the beginning of your day. Between the friendly baristas, great drinks, and buzzing atmosphere you’ll be excited to return to this cafe over and over. 

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Breakfast at The Braeburn 

BEST. BREAKFAST. EVER. Or at least it’s hard to top. The Braeburn has an amazing assortment of breakfast choices ranging from light and sweet pastries to hearty mashes and breakfast burritos. There’s something for everyone!

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Morning Stroll Down Seawall Park

When you make your way out of The Braeburn you might consider taking a stroll down Langley’s Seawall Park. This seaside park is full of beautiful art that pays tribute to past island tribes and a walking path to help you get the most out of the beautiful view.

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Lunch at Ultra House

Ready for lunch? This ramen house is tucked away in the dead center of Langley village and serves absolutely incredible food! Enjoy slurping noodles and sipping broth and feeling like you’re another world away.

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Ice Cream at Sprinklz

What better way to end lunch than with some sweets?! Sprinklz is a local favorite when it comes to ice cream. It’s hard to beat their fun store or their incredible old fashioned ice cream. 

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Explore Downtown and the Star Store

Even though a few of the Langley shops have closed their doors during the pandemic, The Star Store alone could keep anyone’s attention for quite some time. This century-old mercantile seamlessly transitions from produce to products and more. 

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End the Night at the Taproom at Bayview

What better way to end the night than with some comfort food and a good beer? Bayview Taproom provides that and much more. You’ll love this community watering hole for its juicy burgers, kind servers, and joyful atmosphere. 

 

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Posted on July 21, 2020 at 11:15 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Posted in Places, Things to do on Whidbey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Water Sports on Whidbey

Whidbey Island Water Sports: Just in Time for Summer

 

Water Sports on Whidbey, Tori, Kayaking

As Island County transitions into we’ve noticed quite a few changes.

Restaurants have re-opened their doors.

Parks are now open to the public again.

Even a few offices are welcoming back their employees. 

 

For many, this change couldn’t have come soon enough. For those who enjoy water sports, the lifted restrictions were right on time. 

Water sports is something particularly special to Whidbey as we are after all, completely surrounded by water. With the sun making more and more guest appearances in the sky you can place a good bet on the expectation of increased activity on the waves. Between kayaking, paddleboarding, sailing, and more; the Whidbey shores offer quite a bit of enjoyment for those willing to get wet.

Below are just some water activities popular on Whidbey. 

 

  • Kayaking

 

Kayaking is easily an island favorite when it comes to water sports. The flexibility of kayaking regardless of weather and the ability to do it alone is a HUGE draw for many.

Windermere Real Estate, Whidbey Island, Agent, Anita Johnston, Kayaking, Water Sports on Whidbey Winderkids Kayaking, Water Sports on Whidbey

 

  • Tubing

 

Another island favorite, especially in the summer, is tubing! The wonderful thing about tubing is the community feel to it. It’s a great activity that brings people together and almost always results in a few humorous stories. 

Water Sports on Whidbey Windermere Real Estate, Kids , Tubing, Whidbey Island, Water Sports on Whidbey

 

  • Water Skiing

 

Want to kick tubing it up a notch? Water skiing is for you! This sport requires a bit more resilience and core strength, but once you get it down you are sure to leave the water with some epic pictures of yourself. 

Water Skiing, Water Sports on Whidbey Water Skiing, Water Sports on Whidbey

 

  • Paddleboarding

 

Paddleboarding is a slightly newer interest on the island, but well deserving of the hype. This sport is made for those who simply want to enjoy the water. Sit, stand, lay down, it doesn’t matter! Paddleboarding allows you to enjoy the sea the way you want to. 

Water Sports on Whidbey, Windermere, Konni Smith Water Sports on Whidbey

  • Sailing 

Sailing is a Whidbey Island classic. There is a long history of sailing on Whidbey that has been passed down from generation to generation. 

Water Sports on Whidbey

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Posted on June 22, 2020 at 11:44 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Posted in Places, Things to do on Whidbey |

Take a Trip Virtually and Discover our Beautiful World

Select one of the following amazing places to discover the world beyond the livingroom. Begin your virtual tour today.

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San Diego Zoo: The San Diego Zoo has a website just for kids with amazing videos, activities, and games. Enjoy the tour!

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Explore Mars: Explore Mars on the Curiosity Rover. They are updating from WEBVR to WEBXR now, but 360 Mode offers a digital view!

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Yellowstone National Park: Mud Volcano, Mammoth Hot Springs, and so much more. Take a tour of Yellowstone National Park today!  

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Monterey Bay Aquarium: Be delighted by the antics of our sea otters or mellow out to the hypnotic drifting of our jellies. With ten live cams to choose from, you can experience the wonder of the ocean no matter where you are. 

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Animal Cams at Houston Zoo

Animal Cams at Houston Zoo: Tune in to the Houston Zoo Webcams and enjoy a live look at animals that call the Houston Zoo home! See the herd of Asian elephants wander through their enormous habitat. Watch as giraffes nibble lettuce fed to them by guests at the feeding platform; you could join them on your next visit. See the rhinos roll in their mud puddle or the flamingos float next to a waterfall. See the chimpanzees interact with guests at their window or snooze in a hammock. 

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Virtual Farm: This Canadian site FarmFood 360 offers 11 Virtual Tours of farms from minks, pigs, and cows, to apples and eggs. 

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U.S. Space & Rocket Museum: See the Saturn 5 Rocket on YouTube and more on this tour thanks to a real father/son outing.  

Social Emotional Skills

Social Emotional Skills: Through the eyes of their peers, we will introduce students to the key pillars of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, social awareness, relationship skills. 

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The Great Wall of China

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Boston Children’s Museum: Walk through the Boston Children’s Museum thanks to Google Maps! This virtual tour allows kids to explore 3 floors of fun. 

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Polar Bears and the Tundra: Come experience the tundra and polar bears with Polar Bears International and Discovery Education! We are just outside of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, in the heart of polar bear action

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Posted on April 7, 2020 at 10:47 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Posted in Places | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Whidbey Family Resources During COVID-19 Closures

Whidbey Family Resources During COVID-19 Closures

Whidbey Resources, CoronaVirus

Many working parents with young children are scrambling to reassess the next 6 weeks and putting plans in place to keep kids healthy and learning while still earning necessary income. This is going to be a trying time for everyone but families with 2 working parents are facing a particular logistical headache. There are options out there and below is a collection of what is available…

 

Child Care:

Daycare, Kids, Whidbey island, Coronavirus

Boys & Girls Clubs are offering more than 50% off child care and reduced transportation fees. Fill out the application and find out more via the following links.

Oak Harbor Boys & Girls Club 

Coupeville Boys & Girls Club 

High School and College Students are out of school as well and might be looking for child care work. The going rate for long term child care is anywhere from $7-$15 an hour depending on how many kids, their ages, responsibilities, driving required, etc. When screening babysitters this article might come in handy. https://www.care.com/c/stories/6753/babysitter-interview-questions/

 

Short Term Homeschooling:

mom and daughter, teaching, learning at home

If you are finding yourself staring down the tunnel at 6 weeks of homeschooling when this has never been a part of your plan it can feel daunting. Here are three tips that may help.

1. Create Structure through a Schedule: 

Having a schedule that everyone can refer to and count on will help things from getting out of control. Here is a simple schedule we like.

2. Use the Online Resources at Your Fingertips: 

Thank goodness we live in the digital age and that we still have the internet through this. We highly recommend Prodigy Game for keeping kids 1-8th grade on track with their math. Looking for a daily curriculum and content to guide your academic time at home? This Scholastic site has set up day by day themed learning opportunities at four different age levels for free! https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html

We would love to hear what you recommend and be sure to check out this long list of free or discounted resources! http://www.amazingeducationalresources.com/

3. Stay Positive & Create Community:

This too shall pass and you can choose to either wallow in the negatives or focus on all the silver linings! Since we are all in this together on Whidbey be sure to reach out to your fellow families, whether you have a previous relationship with them or not. Times of trial can bring people closer together in very authentic ways. Being outside is the safest way to convene and with some beautiful Spring days planning a walk with just a few families might be the perfect way to brighten everyone’s day. Want to learn more about outdoor opportunities? 

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Posted on March 14, 2020 at 10:20 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Posted in Places, Things to do on Whidbey | Tagged , , ,

Best Places on Whidbey For Whale Watching

Discover the Best Places to Whale Watch

Whidbey Island, Whale viewing, best places to spot a whale

When it comes to natural wonders, Whidbey Island is unbelievably blessed. With expansive undeveloped areas, nine state parks, and views that take your breath away, it’s hard to imagine it could get any better. 

 

But it does!

 

In addition to our incredible outdoor opportunities for explorers, we are one of the few places in the world where land-dwellers have an opportunity to get a glimpse of some spectacular mammals of the sea. Puget Sound’s cold and nutrient-rich water makes it the perfect place for whales to roam. Although you could spend the money to board a whale-watching boat and find the mammals out on the water, boats aren’t always required when you’re on Whidbey. 

 

Below are the top 5 places to see whales from land on Whidbey!

 

West Beach

At the west-most point of Oak Harbor lies a stretch of beach beloved by wanderers and sea life alike. With wide-open views and miles of ocean just off the shore, it’s not hard to see why West Beach is one of the best places to see whales near Whidbey.  

 

Penn Cove 

The nutrient-rich water of Penn Cove cultivates a thriving ecosystem for small and large sea life. It’s this sea life in the form of ghost shrimp and fat seals that attracts the attention of gray whales and transient Orca alike. It’s not uncommon for the residents of Penn Cove to see a gray whale’s tail break the surface of the water as they dig in the mudflats for shrimp or a full-on chase between a stealthy Orca and a seal.

 

Hidden Beach

What this public beach lacks in amenities it makes up for with view and privacy. On a sunny day, beach-goers have the opportunity to see Camano Island sitting peacefully across the Saratoga Passage and – if they come at just the right time – maybe even a whale!

 

Lagoon Point

Just north of this charming seaside community is a county park boasting nothing more than public access to the Lagoon Point community beach. Luckily access to the beach is really all you need to catch a glimpse of traveling orcas or scavenging grey whales. 

 

Seawall Park

Hidden below the streets of downtown Langley is a quaint little park with beautiful art, well-maintained landscaping, and a spectacular view of the Saratoga Passage. Onlookers often have the wonderful treat of seeing a whale pass or even watch them feed in the massive ghost shrimp beds. If you do, don’t forget to ring the Whale Bell!

 

Bonus: Your own back porch?

Can you say “waterfront property”? Yes, please! Our beautiful island has many waterfront homes and properties with beautiful views of Puget Sound. How amazing would it be to sip coffee on your own patio while enjoying pods of orca passing by or gray whales feeding on the beach right in front of you? If this sounds like your dream, give us a call today!

Now, remember, if you do see a whale you should report it to the Orca Network! Reporting sightings to the Orca Network helps with scientific efforts and helps other whale watchers like yourself!

 

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Posted on March 10, 2020 at 4:52 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Posted in Places, Things to do on Whidbey | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Whidbey Island Wineries & Distilleries

Whidbey Island Wineries & Distilleries

 

With intriguing accents of spice and musty earth [and] a gripping mouthful of tannins dance on the lengthy finish.”

 

These are the words used to describe Spoiled Dog Winery’s Estate Pinot Noir. If you are a fancy wine connoisseur, you probably knew what all of those words meant. Or maybe that entire sentence was gibberish to you.

 

Luckily, expertise is not a requirement for enjoyment when it comes to wine. This is evident annually with the “Autumn on Whidbey Tour” when people from all over and with all levels of wine knowledge flood the tasting rooms of local wineries to make memories. The tour is filled with friends having fun, amazing wine, and local art displayed in every tasting room.

 

Hosted by the Whidbey Island Vintners and Distillers Association, this year’s Autumn on Whidbey tour is widening it’s horizons by also including some local spirits! This expansion helps to include individuals interested in participating, but not really interested in wine. It also provides recognition and traffic to some pretty great local distilleries.

 

Below are some of the Wineries and Distilleries participating in this year’s tour that we had the pleasure of visiting:

 

Holmes Harbor Cellars 

 holmes harborHolmes HarborHolmes Harbor

When you think of vineyards and wine tours, do you think of gorgeous Italian villas overlooking expansive acres of grape vines? If so, Holmes Harbor is the place for you! This locally owned winery opened its doors in 2008 with the hope of blending art and science to create some of the most incredible wines on Whidbey. This blend is evident both in their wine and in their tasting room which has the facade of a beautiful authentic villa while proudly displaying their fermentation tanks within. You can’t help but feel like you are about to have the best weekend of your life when you enter this incredible space.

 

Mutiny Bay Distillery 

Mutiny Bay, DistilleryMutiny Bay, LocalMutiny Bay

You are going to LOVE this mom, pop, and son distillery. After retiring as pharmacists Rod and Kathy Stallman utilized their deep understanding of chemistry to create spirits that ignite your imagination. With the engineering innovations of their son Scott, this trio created what can only be described as a dream line of liquor distilled from almost exclusively local ingredients. Their love and passion for their craft is evident from the moment you enter the tasting room. They love walking people through their selection of spirits and their process. You do not want to miss this stop on the tour!

 

Spoiled Dog Winery

WineSpoiled Dog Spoiled DogSpoiled Dog

As one of the most established and favorited wineries on the island, Spoiled Dog is without doubt a real treat to visit. Approaching the property guests are enveloped in trees that open suddenly to acres of vineyards and one of the most charming farm style buildings on Whidbey. Walking in one is immediately met by friendly tasting room staff standing in front of countless barrels of aging wine. The staff are knowledgeable and eager to help. Their selection is incredible and nothing beats the view of the vineyard with tall evergreens in the background.

 

This year’s Autumn on Whidbey Tour is November 9-10. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $25 or $30 day of the event. You can purchase yours here!

 

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Posted on November 8, 2019 at 8:32 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Posted in Places, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,